William Morris Stewart
(August 9, 1827 April 23, 1909) was an American lawyer and politician.
Stewart was born in Wayne County, New York
. As a child he moved with his parents to Trumbull County, Ohio
. As a young man he was a mathematics teacher in Ohio. In 1849 he began attending Yale University
but left in 1850 to move to California
. Like many young men during that time, he came to California because of the Gold Rush
. He arrived in San Francisco, California
and soon left to begin mining near Nevada City, California
. In 1852 he stopped mining and decided to become a lawyer in Nevada City. He almost immediately became a district attorney, and served as attorney general of California briefly during 1854, at the age of 27.
In 1860 Stewart moved to Virginia City, Nevada
where he participated in mining litigation and helped the development of the Comstock Lode
. As Nevada was becoming a state in 1864, he helped the state develop its constitution. Stewart’s role as a lawyer and politician in Nevada has always been controversial. He was the territory’s leading lawyer in mining litigation, but his opponents accused him of bribing judges and juries.Grant H. Smith, 1943, The History of the Comstock Lode
, Univ. of Nevada Bulletin, v.37, n.3, p.69.Dan Plazak, 2006, A Hole in the Ground with a Liar at the Top
, Salt Lake City: Univ. of... Read More